Grand Designs of Portugal
|Resort:||Grand Designs of Portugal|
Beyond Portugals exciting capital city lies a land of beautiful ancient towns, varied culture, wild landscapes and elegant pousadas (historic converted hotels). On this excellent-value tour, youll get to stand before the dazzling 110m marble faade of the Dukes Palace, Vila Viosa. To breathe in the wildflower scents of the tranquil Serra da Estrela mountains. And, along with your new travel companions, to toast adventure with a delicious port wine in Porto, its city of origin.
8 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Lisbon – Vila Viosa
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Lisbon. On arrival, we transfer to the delightful town of Vila Viosa. Well check into our pousada, a luxury 16th-century converted convent, right next to the palace and full of history and character.
Day 2 Vila Viosa
Today we explore this small, marble-clad town. Known as the Princess of Alentejo, its home to a splendid palace, charming streets and a sprawling plaza dotted with orange trees. Well take a guided tour of the majestic Renaissance-style Palcio Ducal or Dukes Palace – the symbol of the city and once one of the most important noble houses in Portugal. The 110-metre faade is totally covered in marble from the region making this unique building the towns most symbolic monument.
Day 3 Arraiolos – vora
Enjoy a morning tour of Arraiolos, a small town overlooked by the ruins of a Moorish castle, to discover the towns history and famous carpet-making tradition. In the afternoon we head to vora, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage city that dates back to Roman times. Our guide will bring the history of this bustling university town to life as we visit the cathedral, San Francisco Church, university and the Chapel of Bones.
Day 4 Viseu
Today we wave goodbye to Vila Vicosa and journey towards medieval Viseu. On the way, well stretch our legs among the tree-lined squares and boulevards of Castelo Branco, the provincial capital. This evening we arrive in Viseu and check into our imposing pousada, a one-time 19th-century hospital.
Day 5 Viseu
Today is yours to spend completely as you please in Viseu, or perhaps join our full-day optional excursion to the Serra da Estrela Mountains. The highest mountains in Portugal, this range forms a beautiful park of craggy peaks, hidden lakes, thick forest and historic villages full of character. Look out for the iconic Estrela Mountain Dog.
Day 6 Viseu
Today is reserved for leisure time. Perhaps take a walk in the park, around the town, or just relax at the pousada.
Day 7 Aveiro – Viana do Castelo
We continue north and stop en route in coastal Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal due to several canals crossing the town. We continue to our next historic pousada, high above Viana do Castelos sailing port and the estuary on which it lies.
Day 8 Viana do Castelo
Take a morning tour of the coastal town of Viana do Castelo, with its opulent mansions, winding streets and intimate squares, and rich Minho folklore. Together well explore the Santa Luzia Basilica and the Costume Museum. The nearby towns of Ponte de Lima, named after the Roman bridge that aided pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela, and Valena do Minho, are included on this tour.
Day 9 Porto
Today we explore Porto. The city that gave its name to Port wine sits along hills tumbling down to the famous Douro River. Here, you may see some of the elegant, traditional, wooden sailing barges – barcos rabelos – used to transport the famous wine; and Portos landmark, the impressive two-tier bridge – Ponte de Dom Luis I. Well amble Portos historic Ribeira district together. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its cobbled streets and impressive buildings and grand churches dripping in gold, gives a glimpse into its Roman past. Portugals second city never fails to impress. As part of our tour, well stop for a tasting at a historic Port cellar.
Day 10 Viana do Castelo – Porto – UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.